What is Android
Android is a mobile OS developed by Google, based on modified versions of the Linux kernel and other open source software and is designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. In addition, Google has developed Android TV for television, Android Auto for cars, and OS Wear for watches, each with a dedicated user interface. Android variants are also used in game consoles, digital cameras, PCs, and other electronic devices.
Originally developed by Android Inc., which Google bought in 2005, Android was launched in 2007, with the first commercial Android device launched in September 2008. The operating system has passed several major releases, with the current version being 8.1 “Oreo”, released on December 2017. The core Android source code is known as the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), and is primarily licensed under the Apache License.
Android is also associated with a series of proprietary software developed by Google, including core applications for services such as Gmail and Google Search, as well as Google Play’s digital app and distribution platform stores and related development platforms. This app is licensed by certified Android device manufacturers based on standards imposed by Google, but AOSP has been used as the basis of a competing Android ecosystem, such as Amazon.com’s Fire OS, which leverages its own equivalent to Google Mobile Services.
Android has become the world’s best-selling smartphone on smartphones since 2011 and on tablets since 2013. Since May 2017, Android has over two billion monthly active users, the largest installed base of all operating systems, and by 2017 Google Play stores more features of 3.5 million applications.